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Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2010 RSSSEND TO A FRIENDPRINT
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Top Stories
For Auto Industry, All Roads Lead to Orlando
Rejected Dealers File Over 1,442 Arbitration Notices
Toyota, Nissan Boost Global Output on China Sales, U.S. Rebound
Fiat CEO: Chrysler-Fiat Integration Moving Forward
Auto Ad Market Shifting Back Into Gear
D.C. Auto Show Gets Higher Profile This Year
Opinion: Our Love Affair with the Car: On the Rocks, or a Rough Patch?
Top Stories
For Auto Industry, All Roads Lead to Orlando

For a couple of weeks, Central Florida will become the center of the automotive universe — for two very different reasons. Speed Weeks at Daytona International Speedway, starting with the Rolex 24 Hours endurance race this Saturday, through the Daytona 500 on Feb. 14, will draw top executives from the automotive world. The other draw occurs Feb. 13-15 in Orlando, when the National Automobile Dealers Association annual convention is here. And it should be a fascinating event, given the turmoil in the automotive industry. "Registration is ahead of last year, and we may see 15,000 attendees," (said Stephen Pitt, NADA's executive in charge of the convention.) "This is easily the most important event of the year for dealers and manufacturers, especially in these economic times," Pitt said. "This is really unprecedented – we've never been through a period like this – and this is the sort of event where problems can be solved."
Source: Orlando Sentinel

Editor's note: Advance convention registration -- which includes a $50 to $75 savings -- ends tomorrow, Wednesday, Jan. 27. Dealers and their managers who attend the convention will also receive a $200 voucher to spend on goods and services on the expo floor. If you have not yet registered, now is the time. Take a minute and register here.

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Rejected Dealers File Over 1,442 Arbitration Notices

WASHINGTON -- As the clock ticks down the final hours before the midnight deadline, dealerships had filed more than 1,442 notices of intent to seek arbitration as of the end of this afternoon -- far exceeding expectations, an American Arbitration Association official said. The latest figure suggests that at least half of all eligible General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group dealerships could end up filing for arbitration and paying the $1,625 filing fee. “This will easily surpass 1,500,” India Johnson, association senior vice president, said in an interview (Monday). “We're overwhelmed.”
Source: Automotive News

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Toyota, Nissan Boost Global Output on China Sales, U.S. Rebound

Toyota Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. increased global production in December as automobile demand surged in China and U.S. sales recovered. Japanese carmakers were ... buoyed by a rebound in U.S. auto sales, which gained for a second month. “The Chinese and U.S. markets are driving Japanese carmakers’ production gains,” said Masatoshi Nishimoto, a Tokyo-based analyst at auto consulting company CSM Worldwide. U.S. vehicle sales rose 15 percent last month to 1.03 million, with Toyota’s sales surging 32 percent.
Source: Bloomberg

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Fiat CEO: Chrysler-Fiat Integration Moving Forward

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said Monday that a new Chrysler plant that will build Fiat engines in southeastern Michigan represents "a huge step forward" for the integration of Chrysler into Fiat. Marchionne told an investors conference call that the investment would bring Fiat's 1.4 liter, four-cylinder engine technology into the United States... Chrysler is investing $179 million in the Dundee plant near Detroit, which is expected to begin production of the engines in the fourth quarter of next year. The engine will power the Fiat 500 minicar, which will be made in Mexico and go on sale in the United States by the end of the year, and will eventually replace engines in other Chrysler vehicles.
Source: The Associated Press

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Auto Ad Market Shifting Back Into Gear

TV station executives and reps are sounding downright positive about the automotive advertising market these days, a critical category that has been in sharp decline for the past couple of years. Jane Williams, vice president of sales for the Cox Media Group, says that the auto spending could be up 20%-30% for the station group when the books close on the first quarter. While he hasn't quizzed dealers on first-quarter spending, Paul Taylor, chief economist for the National Automobile Dealers Association, says an ad uptick makes sense. "The economy grew in the third quarter and more robustly in the fourth," he says. "That suggests that dealers will be increasing their budgets now."
Source: TVNewsCheck

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D.C. Auto Show Gets Higher Profile This Year

The Washington Auto Show, which begins Wednesday, typically isn't the place where new models are unveiled. But there's no doubt that the event's profile is higher than normal this year, thanks in no small part to the billions of dollars that have been coming from the direction of Capitol Hill. Is there any other auto show that would mention the attendance of "hundreds of legislative officials" as part of the draw? Reps. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson are among those scheduled to appear at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. "The automakers obviously want to show politicians that the investment in their companies was a good use of funds," said Alan Baum, principal industry analyst at Baum and Associates, a research firm based in Bloomfield, Mich. "Being in D.C. is now a big deal."
Source: The Washington Post

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Opinion: Our Love Affair with the Car: On the Rocks, or a Rough Patch?

It's unlikely many people will agree with Lester Brown... Brown thinks we're losing our love for the automobile. The founder of the Earth Policy Institute, an environmental think tank and advocacy group, ... says for the first time in 60 years of uninterrupted growth, the size of the U.S. auto "fleet" declined. That's because scrapped cars outpaced new-car sales. He contends we've reached market saturation. Brown also notes the increasing shift of the U.S. population from rural areas to cities, with more public transportation. Dream on, others counter. Last year was an economic disaster, and discerning a trend is impossible, says David Hyatt of the National Automobile Dealers Association. Plus, although Brown says people are moving to more fuel-efficient vehicles, note this: The top-seller last year was the Ford F-series pickup truck, says association chief economist Paul Taylor. Either way, if Brown thinks the American love affair with the car is waning, "you tell the 250,000 people that are going to come to the Convention Center for nine days," says Kevin Mazzucola, executive director of the show's sponsor, Auto Dealers Association of Greater Philadelphia.
Source: The Philadelphia Inquirer

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Quotable
 
"This is easily the most important event of the year for dealers and manufacturers."

   
-- Steve Pitt, NADA vice president of conventions and expositions, referring to the NADA Convention & Expo in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 13-15, Orlando Sentinel, Jan. 22
2010 Convention
 


NADA Chairman: Convention is the 'Must-Attend Event'

Advance Registration Deadline Extended to Jan. 27

To provide dealers and their managers with more time to sign up for the convention, the advance registration deadline — which includes a $50-$75 savings — has been extended to Wednesday, Jan. 27. If you have not yet registered, now is the time. Click here to r
egister today.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE CONVENTION STORIES.




REGULATORY UPDATES


 

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